Anti-Semitism in the Kerry School: Yes, it was Trócaire
January 30, 2013 5 Comments
News of the appearance of anti-Semitism among the schoolchildren of Cahirciveen has spread like a prairie fire. Coláiste na Sceilge have now released an official response, which denies the journalist Sarah Honig’s allegations:
As Principal of this school I was shocked when I read the contents of the blog by Ms Honig. The students and teacher vehemently deny the remarks attributed to them.
Part of our mission statement states that ‘we are committed to developing people who are fair, caring assertive…’ and we are .
Colaiste na Sceilige has worked with the Trocaire Pamoja –together for human rights – Project for the last number of years.
Last year our students looked at Uganda and raised money for Trocaire for two mobile HIV clinics by singing Christmas carols.The year before it was Honduras and they raised money for Trocaire to build a house for a family.This year it was Palestine and they raised money for Trocaire to buy olive trees for displaced Palestinian families.
The lesson content provided by Trocaire states clearly that ‘Trocaire is neither pro Palestinian nor pro Israeli’ and having spoken to the teacher and students it is clear that the material was delivered in an unbiased manner. Anything else would be entirely unacceptable.
Students read newspapers ,watch the news and are in touch with the world around them. Ms Honig has referred to the plethora of anti Israeli feeling in the media.
We try to teach our students to be critical thinkers to examine both sides of an issue. We may not always be satisfied with the conclusions students draw and can only try to set them right when they go wrong.
By making such allegations, and indeed publishing photographs of children on a website without parental consent, the writer has been irresponsible and has done our school and the people of Kerry a great disservice.
It is not certain from the Principal’s statement whether the school received the controversial Trócaire education pack, which Justin Kilcullen told Richard Humphreys, who raised a stink about them, had not been sent to schools. It could be earlier Trócaire propaganda. It wouldn’t surprise me if Kilcullen lied about not sending out the material. Kilcullen is Ireland’s pious fraud, a proven liar who is noticeably overpaid in comparison with other Irish charity chiefs. I certainly don’t believe Trócaire uses the money it raises to plant olive trees in Palestine. Its far more likely that it uses the money, or at least the majority of it, to fund far-left NGOs that bash Israel. That, however, is not the way Trócaire is marketed.
NOTE: It has been put to me that Trócaire’s involvement is really a minor matter in all this. The central point is that schoolchildren and a teacher have been accused by a journalist of anti-Semitism and are contesting that allegation.
I do not quite agree that Trócaire is a tangential issue. It is very likely that Trócaire whipped up the climate of hate in the first place by providing the schoolchildren with a biased, misleading, simplistic, good vs. evil account of the Israel-Arab conflict.